DA-8’s HVCDP sponsors training on lettuce production in greenhouse with hydroponics set-up

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Created on Friday, 10 September 2021 Published Date
Many of our smallholder farmers in the Philippines still farm the same way their forefathers did several years back. Traditional farming practices still continue to work for some, but new practices can help many to substantially improve yields, preserve soil quality and natural capital, thereby helping the government’s twin goal on attaining food security and higher income for farmers.
 
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Farmers themselves can be taught on innovative ways more effectively with the right information that could enhance their knowledge and skills. For instance, advances in satellite mapping and information and communications technologies (ICTs) or so called digitization of agriculture is considered a “game changer” that could speed up the transformation of the agricultural landscape in the countryside.
 
Farming is becoming more and more precise resulting in increased productivity. As the country’s population is growing leaps and bounds; agriculture shouldn’t stagnate, instead continuously develop new techniques to grow food in lesser space and by saving water.
 
The lettuce production with greenhouse in hydroponics set-up is a step towards this end.
Hydroponics set-up is a system of growing crops without soil, often called soilless farming. Through such technology, the plant roots grow in a liquid nutrient solution or inside the moist inert materials. The liquid nutrient solution is a mixture of essential plant nutrients in the water.
 
The plant roots are suspended either in the static liquid solution or in a continuously flowing nutrient mixture. The hydroponic growing system requires sustained TLC or “tender loving care” to the crops, in contrast with what being done in traditional farming system.
 
This was what the more than 20 farmers in Baybay City, Leyte have learned in less than four hours of attending today’s (September 7, 2021) Training on Lettuce Production with Greenhouse in Hydroponics Set-up held at the City Agriculture Nursery Area located in Brgy. Gaas, Baybay City, Leyte.
 
In her message, Ms Mora Abarquez, City Agriculturist, revealed that said capability enhancement activity is part and parcel of the total package of interventions provided by the Turbu Konnstrak, Inc. – the winning supplier or service provider that was commissioned by the High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) of the Department of Agriculture – Region 8, for the construction and supply of labor and materials in the establishment of the P1.24 Million worth of Greenhouse with Hydroponics Set-up.
 
Accordingly, this modernized urban agriculture project is bankrolled under the Bayanihan II “To Heal as One Act of 2020” Project of the National Government. The identified recipient of this greenhouse facility with hydroponic system is none other than the Baybay Farmers Agri-Coop (BAFA) chaired by Mr. Melvin Acedera, a former Local Farmer Technician (LFT) and Mr. Alberto Rosillo, a “Magsasakang Syentista” as vice-chairperson. BAFA boasts of 150 regular farmer- members and more than 600 cluster members in different villages all over the City.
 
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After this hands-on training, said agri-project with hydroponics controlled climate system can grow lettuce and other leafy vegetables year-round. Water utilization is 80-90% lower compared to the traditional farming method, Crops are grown in a closed space and lettuce can now be grown in this system, which could expectedly produce as high as 450 kilos of raw vegetables within 38 days (one cropping period). And based on conservative estimates by some crop experts, with the prevailing market price of P200 per kilo of lettuce, the farmers' coop could easily generate a gross income of P90,000.00 in just a matter of one month and eight day period. ###
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